Hank Pantier

Chasing Elk

Hank Pantier
Chasing Elk

Corbet 120

These days, it seems we all lead busy lives. The holidays are upon us now, but before you know it, they’ll be a happy memory as we roll into the first of the year. We’ll ski, ride, snowshoe, then we’ll realize the days have gotten longer. We’ll start to get in some time on the bike. The weather will continue to warm and we’ll work n trail runs and hikes. Then one day without notice we will look around and it will be summer. We’ll swim, kayak maybe go to a ball game or two then kids will go back to school. A briskness will be in the air one morning, leaves will start fall and we’ll say wow, it’s Halloween already. I find that I need to put things on my schedule that remind me to slow down. I book gravel bike events and concerts, but one of my yearly punctuations is elk season.

The Colorado backcountry is a beautiful place regardless of the season, but in the fall it’s pretty much just showing off. The chilly fall air turns hillsides of aspen trees to gold in early to mid-October. As they loose their leaves, the forest floor is dotted with gold flake. It’s a wonderful gift that this adornment of the hills coincides with elk season, giving me a reason each fall to spend time away from email; in the woods with friends and family.

I have been super stoked about the new SmartLoft line since the first sneak-peak on Kalen Thorien’s Instagram feed last winter. The line released in late September just in time to add a Corbet 120 to my kit before heading off to look for elk. I chose the Loden color. It’s perfectly suited for sportsmen, subdued in the woods but very stylish for the rest of the year.

The Corbet 120 showed up the day before I left to go hunt. I pulled the tags, threw it into my backpack excited to put it through the paces for the next week. While on the trip, I hardly took the Corbet off. Other than some warmer afternoons sitting in the sun glassing hillsides, I wore this jacket predominantly as a mid layer while hunting. It performed wonderfully as both a mid layer and as outerwear. The DWR-finished polyester face on the front panel cut the wind nicely and the heavyweight 120g SmartLoft insulation makes this piece exceptionally warm.

One cool morning about 30 minutes after sunrise, I was fortunate enough to fill my tag. The freezer is now full and we’ll eat like kings this year. Since the trip ended, the Corbet 120 has become my daily go-to. I have literally worn it every day unless it’s (past the point of) needing a wash. Maybe this year, I’ll punctuate my year, not only with scheduled events that remind me to slow down, but I’ll also notice the changes in seasons as take note of when I can and can’t wear the Corbet.